M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+ in London
Linklaters LLP advises on some of the most complex and high profile M&A transactions, as demonstrated by its role advising Jingye Group on its last minute rescue of British Steel. The magic circle firm has a longstanding sector focus on financial services, institutional investors, energy and natural resources, consumer, real estate, TMT, industrials and healthcare, which is combined with experience across public and private M&A, private equity, corporate governance and board level advice. FTSE100 companies feature prominently on the firm's client list, as well as well-known banks. The practice is led by a seven-strong group of partners in London. Simon Branigan, James Inglis, Nick Rumsby, and David Martin all act as corporate group leaders, while Matthew Middleditch is the global corporate chairman. Aedamar Comiskey, who typically acts on big ticket public and private transactions, is head of the global corporate practice. Senior partner Charles Jacobs is another key name in the leadership group, and is an expert in international capital raisings, managing several of the firm's largest client relationships.
Charlie Jacobs (senior partner); Aedamar Comiskey (global head of corporate); Matthew Middleditch (global corporate chairman); Simon Branigan (corporate group leader); James Inglis (corporate group leader); Nick Rumsby (corporate group leader); David Martin (corporate group leader)
Other key lawyers:
‘They take the time to understand your business, know the nuances and the desired outcome sought. They take a practical approach especially when it comes to risk assessments. No lengthy memos; advice is precise and concise; Always available even if client is in different time zones.’
‘Strong commercial acumen; practical advice; written advice is not verbose; it is succinct and clear. Absolutely fast to revert even at partner level; Strong in communications, be it via text or other platforms.’
‘Linklaters’ corporate team did a fantastic job of looking after us during our takeover. We had good partner involvement and they brought in the right people at the right time to assist where needed. The employee incentives team were also fantastic.’
‘Nick Rumsby is calm, unflappable, and very commercial.’
‘Dan Schuster-Woldan is very clear in explaining processes and commercial issues.’
‘Highly competitive rates; the focus is on work product and value of overall services rendered as opposed to a billing focus on every six minutes.’
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd
J Sainsbury plc
Intu Properties plc
Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited
SIX Group AG
National Grid plc
Advent International Corporation
- Advised Just Eat on its recommended all-share merger with Takeaway.com and at the same time the defence of a hostile takeover bid from Prosus which is seeking to derail that merger.
- Advised Nestlé on its sale of Nestlé Skin Health, a leading global provider of skin health products, for $10.2bn to a consortium led by EQT, and which also included ADIA, PSP Investments and GIC.
- Advised Advent International Corporation on the £4bn recommended cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Cobham plc by Al Convoy Bidco Limited.
Slaughter and May
Slaughter and May's market-leading M&A team acts for roughly one third of the FTSE 100, advising across domestic and international mergers and acquisitions. As well as traditional M&A, the team has a strong reputation advising on take-private matters, working with Merlin Entertainments on its recommended cash offer by a consortium of investors, for example. Senior partner Steve Cooke continues to practise, taking the lead on this mandate alongside Robert Innes. Roland Turnill leads the M&A practice, principally working on public takeovers, private acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, and initial and secondary public equity offerings. The wider corporate group is under the management of Andy Ryde, who is particularly active on take-private transactions. Other key names in the practice include David Johnson ,who worked on the joint venture between GSK and Pfizer to create a consumer healthcare brand alongside Simon Nicholls.
Royal Dutch Shell
Standard Life Aberdeen
- Advising Takeaway.com on its recommended all-share combination with Just Eat plc.
- Advising Merlin Entertainments plc on a recommended cash offer for Merlin’s entire issued and to be issued share capital by a consortium of investors.
- Advising GlaxoSmithKline on the creation of a world leading consumer healthcare joint venture with Pfizer.
With a 200-lawyer strong corporate practice worldwide, Allen & Overy LLP has the resources to act on some of the market's highest profile transactions. As well as large public takeovers, the practice also undertakes a significant number of private M&A deals and advises roughly a quarter of FTSE 100 companies in some capacity. The firm is well placed to advise on cross-border transactions across multiple jurisdictions, as demonstrated by a role advising WPP on a disposal involving 90 jurisdictions. Dominic Morris leads the London corporate practice and has significant experience acting on domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, public takeover bids, privatisations, joint ventures and equity offerings. Corporate finance partner David Broadley is a name to note in the practice, having worked on a wide range of ECM transactions, acting for both issuers and underwriters. The team lost two partners to US rival Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP , with both George Knighton and Simon Toms leaving to join the firm.
Other key lawyers:
‘We used A&O on a multinational class 1 disposal. The lawyers are first rate and the size and scale of the firm meant that we did not struggle for resource, even through a very tight final weekend when we were running two deal teams and two bidders.‘
‘Seamless cross-functional expertise provided by the London team, with the highest service level paired with industry knowledge. Truly integrated team.‘
‘Pragmatic legal advise tailored to international environment with considerable industry expertise. Matthew Appleton is focusing specifically on what really matters for the business of his client far beyond legal expertise.‘
‘Team has real bench strength in UK public M&A.’
‘Seth Jones is a leading public M&A lawyer. Clients like his approachable manner and thoughtful approach. Harriet Stephenson also highly rated.‘
Marks & Spencer plc
Imperial Brands plc
Sage Group plc
TT Electronics plc
Associated British Foods plc
TP ICAP plc
Reckitt Benckiser plc
Royal Dutch Shell plc
21st Century Fox
- Advised Cobham on its GBP4bn recommended cash offer by Advent International to acquire its entire issued and to be issued share capital.
- Advised WPP on the USD3.1bn sale of a 60% stake in Kantar to Bain Capital.
- Advised Prosus on its hostile GBP4.9bn all-cash offer to acquire Just Eat, the UK-based international online food order and delivery service.
Clifford Chance LLP's large UK M&A team has won roles on strategically important, high profile mandates, such as Pfizer's formation of a consumer healthcare joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline. Consistently retained as lead international counsel on cross-border mandates, the team has a diverse client base that includes a number of FTSE100 and Fortune 500 listed corporations. The practice's commitment to using tech to improve client service has been demonstrated by the increased use of Best Delivery hubs, which aid transaction management through project management, IT and pricing tools. Melissa Fogarty co-heads the corporate practice alongside Nigel Wellings and is an experienced hand on cross-border deals. Other key names in the team include Tim Lewis and David Pudge, as well as Steven Fox. Guy Norman leads the global corporate group.
‘Each partner put us as a client and Clifford Chance as a firm first; egos did not interfere with the exemplary service provided. In other firms personalities sometimes surpass the greater common good’
‘Expert knowledge, wise counsel and low egos.‘
‘Ability to deploy market leading experts in all areas at short notice. Clients can draw comfort from their depth of knowledge and experience and insight into market practice.‘
‘David Pudge and his team are excellent. All have fantastic knowledge and experience, remain calm under pressure and are a real source of reassurance.’
‘The team demonstrates an excellent blend of technical legal knowledge and commercial pragmatism/understanding. This is really crucial when it comes to getting a deal done efficiently whilst also best protecting the client’s position’
‘David Pudge’s experience is unparalleled and he expertly helps lead a transaction from beginning to end, providing sensible and valued input on commercial points as well as legal ones. He is very adept in negotiation scenarios and also when dealing with boards/senior management’
‘Joel Ziff is highly commercial, responsive and understands our business and approach to transactions. He is our go-to partner for M&A transactions in the aviation space.’
Legal & General
Provident Financial plc
- Advising Inmarsat, one of the world’s leading satellite telecommunications companies, on its takeover by a consortium formed of funds advised by Apax Partners LLP, Warburg Pincus LLC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.
- Advised KIRBKI A/S (and its consortium) on its successful takeover of Merlin Entertainments plc through Motion Acquisition Limited.
- Advising Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, with respect to the formation of a consumer healthcare joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to create a premier global consumer healthcare company.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
Specialising in complex, multi-jurisdictional M&A, with a strong international flavour, the bulk of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP's transactions are from the US into the UK and Europe. After years of caution on the lateral hiring front, the firm has been ramping up significantly when it comes to UK M&A talent, recruiting three partners from magic circle firms within 12 months. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP M&A veteran Bruce Embley is set to join the firm in November 2020, with the high profile partner adding further weight to an English-law practice that had already been strengthened on the public M&A side with the arrivals of George Knighton and Simon Toms from Allen & Overy LLP . While Embley had yet - at the time of writing - to make any impact at Skadden, at Freshfields he has played a key role on some of the firm's largest M&A deals. Toms and Knighton meanwhile have experience across a wide range of cross-border public and private M&A transactions, joint ventures, corporate reorganisations and equity capital markets transactions, with Toms also having significant expertise in the fintech sector. Skadden's practice is co-chaired by Scott Simpson, Scott Hopkins and the 'pragmatic' Lorenzo Corte who all come recommended in this space.
‘The team effectively managed to organise work across practice areas in a complex transaction without compromising their quality, notwithstanding the differences in time zones and continents.‘
‘Lorenzo Corte has a pragmatic and business-oriented approach. We valued his ability to exercise quick and good judgement and communication skills’
‘A US firm with the in-depth knowledge of UK law and practice equivalent to the leading UK firms. Able to undertake the role as principal law firm on significant UK transactions and not just a supporting role as is often the case.‘
‘Scott Hopkins leads a team with a consistent high quality throughout. The understanding of the underlying transactions and the legal principles applying to them appears to be understood throughout the team and not simply among the more senior members of the team.‘
‘Customer oriented. Responsive. Proactive.‘
‘The team is of very high calibre with excellent technical skills and creative solutions.‘
L’Occitane International SA
International Paper Corp
Phoenix Group Holdings
- Advising Phoenix Group Holdings Limited, the listed UK-based closed life assurance fund consolidator, in relation to its proposed £3.25 billion acquisition of ReAssure Group Plc, the listed UK-based company that operates as a life and pensions consolidator, from MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. and Swiss Re Ltd.
- Advising DSV A/S, the Denmark-based and listed freight and logistics company, in relation to its acquisition of Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG, the Swiss transport and logistic company.
- Advising L’Occitane International S.A., the France-based HK ex-listed company that designs, manufactures and markets a range of cosmetics and well-being products, in its acquisition of ELEMIS Ltd, the UK-based global distributor and innovator of beauty and skincare products, from Steiner Leisure Limited.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
With a longstanding focus on sectors including TMT, financial services, energy, infrastructure, real estate and pharma/healthcare, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP routinely acts for leading clients on large and complex transactions. The department has strong ties with the major international investment banks, often advising them as sponsors and/or investors on M&A matters. Gavin Davies, who leads the global M&A practice, focuses on large UK public market takeovers within TMT and real estate. Other key names include firmwide chair James Palmer , who advises on governance, regulatory and reputational issues for clients in the US and Europe, and Stephen Wilkinson who is a public takeover expert.
Aernnova Aerospace Corporation S.A.
Air France / KLM
Ardonagh Group (formerly Towergate Insurance)
Associated British Foods
British American Tobacco
Coca – Cola
Gardner Aerospace Holdings
GIC Infra Holdings Pte Ltd
Gulf Keystone Petroleum
InterGlobe Enterprises (UK) Ltd
Lloyds Banking Group
Millenium & Copthorne Hotels Plc
Moneysupermarket.com Group Plc
Old Mutual Plc
Qatar Investment Authority
The UNITE Group
Willis Towers Watson
- Advised ARRIS International plc (previously UK-incorporated and NASDAQ listed), a provider of entertainment and communications solutions, on its acquisition by CommScope Holding Company, Inc for US$7.4 billion.
- Advised independent directors of Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) in relation to the recommended pre-conditional final offer announced by City Developments Ltd (CDL), its 65% shareholder, valuing M&C at approximately £2.227 billion.
- Advised Unite Group Plc on the class 1 acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Liberty Living Group Plc from the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (“CCPIB”) valuing £1.4million.
The corporate department at Latham & Watkins acts for a range of strategic clients including private equity sponsors, funds and investment banks. The practice takes on a mix of take-private transactions, joint ventures, carve-outs, asset swaps and distressed mergers and acquisitions. Many of these deals have significant cross-border elements and the firm is well recognised across the US, Europe and Asia. The practice also regularly advises UK listed companies on the listing rules, disclosure guidance, transparency rules and market abuse regulation. Edward Barnett is global co-chair of the M&A practice and has extensive experience advising global companies on transactions. Robbie McLaren co-chairs the corporate group alongside Nick A Cline who specialises in advising corporations on their M&A deals and on day to day corporate advisory matters. The London team has recently been boosted with the hire of Sam Newhouse from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP .
‘Dedicated team of professional who react quickly, and have always considered all implications to questions or topics raised. Great knowledge of corporate transactions and very quick to learn industry specific nuances.‘
‘Always willing and keen to engage, and come back in response to instructions amazingly quickly. Their advise and participation is excellent, well thought through and precise and clear. They also speak in layman’s tongue which for a client is so helpful and makes the whole experience pleasurable.‘
‘Strength in depth. Lots of sector specific experience in pharma. US strength is highly beneficial for cross border deals.‘
Alliance Pharma plc
Domestic & General
Venator Materials plc
- Advised Thomas Cook Group in connection with its strategic review, re-financing and the proposed sale of its airline and ultimately its attempted recapitalization.
- Sale of the North American rights for Keri®, a provider of skin care products, to Crown Laboratories. its sale of its assets relating to the Biacol and Cibalgina brands in Italy to Versailles, its Prevacid®24HR business to Perrigo Company and sale of various assets to STADA.
- Advised Sony Pictures Television on its acquisition of independent media company Silvergate Media.
Macfarlanes LLP has a longstanding reputation advising blue-chip clients on complex M&A mandates, with a focus on public M&A deals. The firm, where Howard Corney and Luke Powell co-lead the practice, makes use of its network of overseas firms on international matters. It received a boost in 2019 with the hire of former Ashurst partner Robert Ogilvy Watson as a partner in the M&A team.
‘Good ability to work through considerable legal and corporate finance complexity in the context of a transaction, rather than solely focusing on the academic legal aspects’
‘Able to clearly present and guide their clients through the solutions‘
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP 's close ties with several major European and US private equity firms have gifted the firm lead roles on a number of high profile take-privates. The team also advises on exits for clients' portfolio companies, working on a number of IPOs. A key area of growth to date has been infrastructure, spearheaded in part by the arrival of Amy Mahon from Clifford Chance. While the team is focused on private equity clients, it is able to advise across a full range of mandates such as carve-outs, restructurings and fund related work. The practice is led by a seven partner team comprising Derek Baird, Samuel Charlton, Clare Gaskell, Wheatley McNamara, Mahon, Adam Signy and Ben Spiers. James Howe, who has a track record of advising private equity sponsors, joined the team in summer 2020 from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very commercial, super responsive and with the ability to tackle whatever comes their way.‘
‘The team has a great blend of public and private experience, solution driven and know us and our business intimately.‘
The Blackstone Group
Blackstone Real Estate Partners
CBRE Group Inc.
Charterhouse Capital Partners
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Melrose Industries PLC
Oakley Capital Partners
Silver Lake Partners
Vista Equity Partners
- Advised Refinitiv in its definitive agreement to be acquired by London Stock Exchange Group in an all share transaction for a total enterprise value of approximately US$27 billion.
- Advised KKR and BlackRock on their pipeline infrastructure deal with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for approximately US$4 billion.
- Advised BC Partners in Blackstone Alternative Asset Management’s acquisition of a passive, minority investment in BC Partners.
Ashurst's 'excellent' and 'on the ball' M&A team undertakes transactions for clients in its key target industries, which include tech, financial institutions, energy, infrastructure and funds. The practice has close ties with several FTSE 100 companies within these sectors and has advised on several takeovers for these clients. The highly respected Karen Davies leads the corporate transactions teams in London and has been particularly active advising financial institutions, while Jason Radford heads the corporate practice globally. Nick Williamson and Tom Mercer are also key names in the department, both advising on significant transactions within the group.
‘The Ashurst team is always on the ball and provides excellent service. Always there when you need them and able to go the extra mile to make the deal happen. Very client friendly and responsive. The team is first rate‘
‘Nick Williamson is an exceptional lawyer – very responsive, trusted adviser and a go-to-person for all M&A related activities. Nick really understands the dynamics of M&A transactions and is able to anticipate issues early, allowing us to take the appropriate measures way before others start realising the same. Truly first class.‘
‘Leading mid market public M&A practice. Approachable and commercial.‘
‘Tom Mercer is our go-to partner for UK public M&A at Ashurst for his blend of a commercial approach and technical knowledge.‘
Babcock International Group
British Business Bank
Johnston Press / JPI Media
Kier Group plc
Lazard & Co., Limited
Macquarie Infrastructure Partners IV
MedicX Fund Limited
Shanks Group (Renewi)
- Advised Liberty House Group (part of Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance) on its €740 million landmark acquisition of European ArcelorMittal steel assets.
- Advised Lazard in relation to a number of high-value and complex transactions during 2019, including as sole financial adviser to Berkeley Bidco Limited in its £4.77 billion recommended cash offer for Merlin Entertainments plc.
- Advised Faroe Petroleum in relation to the unsolicited offer for the company announced by DNO ASA for £609 million.
Baker McKenzie undertakes both public and private M&A, with further specialism in private equity investments to portfolio companies. The firm's global presence affords the team the ability to work seamlessly across jurisdictions, in particular on transatlantic transactions. The department is particularly active in the consumer, industrials, pharmaceuticals and TMT sectors. Jane Hobson and Helen Bradley jointly lead the practice, splitting private and public M&A respectively. Jannan Crozier is noted for her work on carve-out transactions and the wider team has grown with the arrival of Peter Lu from White and Case and Nick Bryans from Ashurst.
‘Peter Lu is a very talented M&A lawyer and dealmaker. He truly crosses East and West and serves a lot of different clients from all backgrounds. He is agile, very pragmatic, always solution driven and pre-empts issues before they arise. He is a very trusted safe pair of hands and is a genuine relationship builder‘
‘The team advising us were extremely commercial and clearly had years of experience in the area, which they brought to the deal. Despite a complex deal with many moving parts and last minute surprises, they made the process smooth and effortless from our side.‘
‘The Baker McKenzie M&A team are the best in the business’
‘ The Baker team approaches every matter with a reasoned business approach, not just recitations of law and legal risk. This team consistently drives toward solutions, not just wins. I have not in my more than 20 years of leading global deals worked with better counsel!‘
‘Jannan Crozier is the consummate professional; she understands the importance of listening to clients and being proactive; I have not worked with anyone better.‘
GSK – Vaccines
Emerson Electric Co.
Laird Plc/Advent Corp
QinetiQ Group PLC
UBS Investment Bank
- Advised Alawwal Bank on its US $ 4.9 billion merger with Saudi British Bank.
- Advised Hitachi on the global carve-out and sale of ABBs power grids business.
- Advised GSK on its joint venture with Pfizer’s Consumer Healthcare business to create the world’s largest over the counter healthcare business with combined sales of approximately £9.8 billion.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP's M&A practice is experienced in public company transactions and the team has worked on a wide range of cross-border deals. The department undertakes the full range of work including transatlantic M&A, take-privates and joint ventures. The London team includes partners Ben Perry, Richard Pollack and Jeremy Kutner, who joined in 2018 from Shearman & Sterling LLP. Timothy Emmerson is of counsel to the firm's European M&A practice.
Travers Smith LLP 's well regarded City team carries out M&A transactions for a range of corporates, private equity houses and sponsors, including infrastructure and real estate funds. The team has significant experience acting on public and private M&A deals, both domestically and internationally. Spencer Summerfield leads the corporate department.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP made a big statement in the London M&A market with the hire of highly-regarded partner David Avery-Gee from Linklaters LLP in November 2019. Avery-Gee has a strong track record advising on cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and capital raisings for well known clients, particularly in the natural resources sector. To date, a significant portion of the firm's work in London has included advising US clients looking to capitalise on investment opportunities in the UK, with the firm's close links with buyout houses gifting it significant experience advising on take private deals as well as public takeovers. Michael Francies leads the department and has a broad range of experience across public and private transactions both internationally and domestically.
Willis Towers Watson
Campbell Soup Company
Brookfield/Westinghouse Electric Company
Cornell Capital/Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC/ONE)
Mercury UK Holdco
- Advised Willis Towers Watson plc on its $80 billion all-share merger with Aon plc.
- Advised Advent International on the regulatory, antitrust and financing aspects of its £4.1 billion take private of Cobham plc.
- Advised NYSE-listed Campbell Soup Company on its sale of all EMEA operations of Kettle Foods and Yellow Chips to Valeo Foods Group.
With the benefits of a global platform including transatlantic capabilities, White & Case LLP's UK M&A team has bench strength in the oil and gas, metals, mining, pharmaceutical, tech and infrastructure sectors, where it advises across the full range of public and private M&A. Another key area for the practice is financial institutions work, where it has a particular focus on fintech and the emerging challenger work. The practice, which is led by private equity heavyweight Ian Bagshaw, was boosted in 2020 with the addition of infrastructure focused M&A partner Sandra Rafferty from CMS.
‘The practice is very strong and is effectively fronted by a UK team which is put together from top tier UK firms’
‘UK listed company practice with international M&A capability’
‘Coherent, partner led international practice which has come in particularly useful for a listed UK parent doing M&A in the US/globally’
Avon Rubber plc
Barclays Bank plc
discoverIE Group plc
Energean Oil & Gas Plc
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
The Co-operative Bank plc
Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc
- Advised Avon Rubber p.l.c., a UK-listed innovative technology group on its strategically important acquisition of 3M’s ballistic-protection business in the United States and the rights to the Ceradyne brand.
- Advised Energean Oil & Gas Plc on the US$750 million acquisition of the upstream oil & gas business of Edison Exploration & Production SpA (Edison E&P), with operations in Italy, Egypt, Algeria, UK, Norway, Croatia and Israel, and the on-sale of certain Norwegian and UK assets to Neptune Energy for US$250 million.
- Advised Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in connection with the agreement to divest a portfolio of select over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pharmaceutical assets to Acino for a total value in excess of US$200 million, and on the agreement to divest a portfolio of select over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pharmaceutical assets to STADA Arzneimittel AG for a total value of US$660 million.
Akin Gump LLP has been ramping up its London corporate team significantly, adding financial institutions' specialist Gavin Weir from White & Case LLP , as well as three corporate M&A and private equity transactional partners; Shaun Lascelles, Simon Rootsey and Weyinmi Popo. The team is able to advise across the full range of M&A work, including negotiated transactions, auction processes, hostile takeovers, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures and strategic alliances and tender offers involving public and privately held companies. Sebastian Rice and Daniel G. Walsh jointly lead the practice.
‘Akin Gump’s ability to provide around the clock dependable services, their depth of specialised knowledge and their “common-sense” approach were decisively effective and critical for the successful completion of our transaction.‘
‘Gavin Weir really stands out for his professionalism, character and deal-making skills. He is one of the most efficient and competent lawyers I have ever worked with and his invaluable legal support was decisive in the successful completion of our transactions.‘
‘They have a very commercial mindset and will not allow the noise of minutiae to interfere with the bigger issues. Most importantly, they are able to identify the risks that would have a genuine impact whilst proposing effective ways of mitigating those risks.‘
BC Energy Investments Corp (Formerly Bridas)
DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG
Helios Investment Partners
Pan American Energy S.L
The Carlyle Group
UFG Private Equity
- Acted for Vitol S.A. in connection with their proposed acquisition, as part of a consortium with Africa Oil Corp and Delonex Energy Limited, of an ownership interest in Petrobras Oil and Gas B.V. (“POGBV”) and their subsequent withdrawal from the consortium.
- Advising Mail.ru Group Limited, a leading Internet and IT company in Russia, on the formation of a joint venture between its ESforce e-sports business and games producer Modern Pick.
- Advised Helios Investment Partners, the largest Africa-focused private investment firm, as one of the major selling shareholders in Helios Towers’ $1.45 billion initial public offering (“IPO”) on the premium listing segment of the London Stock Exchange.
CMS is involved in a wide range of transactions within the energy and infrastructure sector, where it has a strong UK practice. Other key areas for the department includes hotels & leisure and financial services. The firm's global network of 75 offices facilitates transactions across Europe, particularly in the CEE region. Co-head of the corporate group Charles Currier specialises in energy and infrastructure alongside Iain Newman. Louise Wallace is a name to note for her work in the consumer products sector.
Other key lawyers:
Primary Health Properties
Brookfield Renewable Partners
Syncona Investment Management Limited
- Advising on the sale of North Sea assets to Chrysaor.
- Advising the consortium comprising Equitix, Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc., Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure Co. Ltd and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company limited on its acquisition of Electricity North West.
- Advising Electricity Supply Board on its partnership with EDF Renewables to jointly develop the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scotland.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's clients include a range of UK, European and US listed companies, as well as US private equity clients looking to invest in Europe, and London and New York-based investment banks. The department has a track record advising on UK takeovers and transactions involving UK listed companies, and on international private M&A and private equity-led transactions. Sector specialisms across the wider group includes financial services, TMT, consumer, retail, and energy. Will Pearce and Jeffrey O’Brien jointly lead the practice.
UBS Whitney Wolfe Herd
- Advised Maersk, an integrated transport and logistics company, and Maersk Drilling on the $3.6 billion separation of Maersk’s offshore drilling activities through a demerger of Maersk Drilling.
- Advising Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble, in connection with the acquisition by Blackstone of a majority stake in MagicLab, which builds and operates leading dating and social networking apps including Bumble and Badoo.
- Advisers to Comcast on its £30.6 billion takeover of Sky.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP's broad corporate practice regularly undertakes transactions in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors and also acts for industrial and manufacturing clients. Managing partner Fiona Adams co-chairs the global corporate practice, while Paul Maher acts as global vice chair. Both have considerable experience in cross-border public and private M&A, advising a wide range of domestic and international clients. Sarah F. Moyles is another key name to note in the practice and advises on a wide range of corporate, corporate finance and commercial matters.
‘Highly capable corporate practice for major transactions, including cross-border and complex structures. Strong partner involvement and contact, highly experienced and pragmatic.’
‘Paul Maher has deep experience, is a hard-nosed negotiator, highly responsive and client-focused’
‘Fiona Adams is a highly sophisticated and capable M&A lawyer who is also an extremely effective manager of teams and transactions. A pleasure to work with‘
‘Key strengths are the availability of the team, its capability to negotiate with counterparty legal teams and the quality of its contractual arrangements.‘
‘Paul Maher is a strong negotiator with a big experience in M&A’
‘Graeme McLellan is outstanding. He has extensive technical expertise and a strong understanding of the commercial risks and drivers of our business. He is highly effective in representing us with these attributes. He is our go-to legal adviser for M&A transactions in the rail space.’
‘Paul Maher, Henrietta Walker and Fiona Adams are all excellent and highly appreciated professionals. They are much more engaged than the standard M&A London partner, and they always bring a proactive service.’
Rentokil Initial PLC
Smiths Group PLC
Intercontinental Hotels Group PLC
Cromwell European Real Estate Fund
Bracco Imaging SpA
Blue Earth Diagnostics Limited
Vista Equity Partners
Platform Specialty Products Corporation
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets
- Acted for Bracco Imaging as buyer in the USD450 million acquisition of Blue Earth Diagnostics.
- Acted for MIRA on the disposal of its pan-European rolling stock leasing business, Macquarie European Rail.
- Advised Rentokil on its agreement with Franz Haniel & Cie to divest its 17.8% interest in CWS-boco International, a joint venture created by Rentokil and Franz Haniel in 2017.
Hogan Lovells International LLP advises on the full range of domestic and cross-border transactions including public takeovers, private M&A, complex joint ventures, growth equity and venture capital investments. The firm's large international network allows the team to work on transactions across continental Europe, Asia and North America within key sectors including automotive, consumer, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, financial institutions, insurance, real estate and TMT. Ben Higson co-heads the London M&A practice alongside Patrick Sarch, who joined from White & Case LLP in early 2021. The team, which also includes Charles Rix, has seen a number of departures in recent years, with Tom Whelan now at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP and Steven Bryan at Paul Hastings. However, a private equity team led by Ed Harris returned to the firm in 2020 in a boost to the practice.
‘Pragmatic, commercially focused advice with a strong understanding of the insurance sector. Ability to provide seamless support to the in-house legal team.‘
‘Exceptional sector knowledge’
‘Patrick Sarch has huge experience and insight and is also approachable and user-friendly- he’s a reassuring presence.’
- Advised funds managed by global infrastructure investment manager DWS on the acquisitions of The Datacenter Group and NLDC.
- Advised Israel-based Fattal Hotel Group and its subsidiary Jury’s Inns on its acquisition of the operating business and a long-term lease of four high-end London Grange Hotels, from real estate investment firm Queensgate Investments.
- Acted for ITV on the formation of BritBox, a new joint venture with the BBC in the UK to create a streaming service carrying “Best of British” television, including Channel 4 content as well.
Norton Rose Fulbright has established corporate capabilities across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. Its strong sector expertise includes energy, infrastructure, mining, commodities, transport, tech, life sciences and healthcare. Raj Karia leads the department and specialises in public and cross-border M&A transactions, with a client list made up of international corporates and investment banks. Elsewhere in the practice, Paul Whitelock advises on public M&A and capital markets transactions focusing on the LSE and AIM.
Other key lawyers:
Bank of Montreal
Delta Air Lines
Lloyds Banking Group
Terra Firma Capital Partners
- Advised NYSE and TSX-listed Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) on its take-private of London-listed Acacia Mining.
- Advised on the sale of BP’s petroleum interests in the Gulf of Suez region of the Republic of Egypt covering 12 different concession areas including BP’s interest in the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (GUPCO) to Dragon Oil for an undisclosed consideration.
- Advised DVB on the sale of its aviation finance group to Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and its affiliated leasing operation BOT Lease (BOTL).
Paul Hastings LLP 's City M&A team has expanded through a number of high profile additions in recent years. Energy and infrastructure M&A partner Steven Bryan joined the London arm in 2019, after heavyweight partner Roger Barron joined from Linklaters the previous year. The team is now able to advise across the full spectrum of deals including public and private M&A, private equity, strategic affiliations and joint ventures. Its client base includes companies in the tech, telecoms and digital infrastructure sectors, in addition to energy.
‘Paul Hastings is without doubt the best law firm that we have worked with.‘
‘Paul Hastings has always made a commitment to work at our pace (whatever that might be). As a serial acquirer, we hold ourselves to tight deadlines and we expect the same of our advisers.‘
‘High capabilities in M&A‘
‘Advice is balanced and commercially oriented.‘
NJJ Telecom Europe
Abry Partners II, LLC
Brookfield Private Equity
Arcus Infrastructure Partners LLP
Salt Mobile SA
Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd
Jacobs Engineering Group
- Advised Brookfield Infrastructure and Public Sector Pensions of Canada in relation to the proposed €3 billion sale of majority interests in Telediffusion de France (TDF), the largest telecoms mast operator in France.
- Advised Salt Mobile SA, on the sale of a 90% equity interest in the company owning Salt’s passive mobile infrastructure in Switzerland – “Salt TowerCo” – for a cash consideration of CHF 0.8 billion (€0.7 billion equivalent), to Spanish tower operator Cellnex Telecom SA.
- Advising Jacobs Engineering Group on its acquisition of Wood Group’s Nuclear business in the UK, Europe, and the Far East for £250 million.
Shearman & Sterling LLP advises a mix of large multinationals, corporates and financial institutions on mergers and acquisitions and recently took the lead for ArcelorMittal S.A. on its $7bn acquisition of Essar Steel. Heading the firm's EMEA M&A group, Laurence Levy acts on numerous public and private company M&A transactions, joint ventures, restructurings, privatisations, equity capital markets and general corporate advisory work.
Goldman Sachs International
Liberty Global plc
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)
Thomas Cook India Limited
MS Pharma Ventures Holding WLL
Advance Publications, Inc.
Acacia Mining plc
Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund
International Finance Corporataion (IFC)
- Advised ArcelorMittal S.A. on its $7 billion acquisition of Essar Steel India Limited via a joint venture with Nippon Steel Corporation.
- Advised London-listed Acacia Mining on the recommended offer from Barrick Gold to Acacia’s minority shareholders that valued Acacia at £1.2 billion, representing a 53.5% premium to its undisturbed share price.
- Advising Goldman Sachs Saudi Arabia as financial adviser to The Saudi British Bank, on the SAR 18.6bn (approximately $4.96bn) merger of SABB with Alawwal Bank.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has an experienced team in London advising clients including asset management firms, financial institutions and mining companies. With a burgeoning practice advising in emerging markets including the Middle East, India, Africa and Russia, the firm is also able to leverage its international network of offices to advise on a range of multi-jurisdiction transactions. While the practice does not designate a practice head, sovereign wealth fund specialist Tihir Sarkar and Sam Bagot, who is experienced in the natural resources sector, are both key names to note.
BNP Paribas Qatar Investment Authority Ivanhoé Cambridge Thales TAG Group Brookfield Asset Management Fimalac Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo ArcelorMittal Sistema PJSFC Schroders IFF Hillhouse TPG TPG Rise
- Represented BNP Paribas in a novel transaction in relation to Deutsche Bank’s global prime brokerage and electronic equities businesses, and the acquisition of a Delta One book
- Advised Qatar Investment Authority on an acquisition by its subsidiary of a 25.1% stake in Adani Electricity Mumbai from Adani Transmission Limited and for a shareholder subordinated debt investment by QIA in AEML
- Represented Ivanhoé Cambridge on a recommended cash offer for easyHotel PLC
Dechert LLP 's transatlantic M&A team is able to offer a range of expertise, including significant regulatory experience as well as asset management and emerging markets knowledge. Innovation-intensive sectors are a key focus for the practice, including life-sciences, TMT, energy and financial services. Douglas Getter leads the corporate group and is skilled in US and cross-border M&A transactions and private placements, public offerings and joint ventures; representing purchasers, sellers, issuers, financial advisers and joint venture partners.
Crown Holdings Inc
TRS Group (UK)
- Acting as US and English counsel to GIC, in its capacity as a member of a consortium consisting of funds affiliated with Blackstone, GIC and an affiliate of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), together with Thomson Reuters, on their £27bn sale of the Refinitiv business to the London Stock Exchange Group plc.
- Advising Covis Pharma BV and its private equity fund-owner Cerberus Capital Management on its US$730 million sale to Apollo Global Management.
- Advising Generali on the acquisition of a majority stake in Sycomore Factory SAS, a non-regulated holding company controlling both Sycomore Asset Management SA and Sycomore Market Solutions.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP represents US and UK clients operating in the media, industrials and real estate sectors and also has good experience advising financial institutions. Ian Lopez is a name to note, with experience advising on both hostile and recommended public takeovers.
Other key lawyers:
‘Went above and beyond to ensure client service in negotiation, turnaround time and global support in the US, London and the UAE’
‘Ian Lopez provided the highest level of service and quality that I have received from an outside lawyer. He is truly exceptional – smart, creative, and literally tireless. His advice is always top-notch, and he is a tenacious and talented negotiator’
‘When I have Ian representing me I have total confidence that I am getting the best legal advice, and also that every detail will be covered as it should be.‘
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher advises UK and global corporates, as well as private equity sponsors. Jeremy Kenley is a key name for real estate M&A, while an area of growth for the practice has been in oil and gas, spearheaded by Anna Howell, who leads the energy practice in London. Other names to note in the practice include Mark Sperotto and Nick Tomlinson . Several key names have left the London arm in the last two years including Nigel Stacey (now Baker Botts (UK) LLP) Jonathan Earle, who is now at DLA Piper, private equity partner James Howe, who left for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and London corporate chair Charlie Geffen, who has retired.
Amryt Pharma plc
Marathon Oil Company
Peter Lammer and Jan Hruska (the founders of Sophos Group plc)
Bromford Industries / Liberty Hall Capital Partners LP
Bruin Sports Capital
William Hill Plc
Royal Mail plc
- Advising privately held global investment firm Bruin Sports Capital on a number of major international and complex corporate transactions.
- Advised Amryt Pharma on its acquisition of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Advised Marathon Oil Company on the sale of its UK North Sea business to LSE-listed oil and gas company RockRose Energy plc.
Jones Day has a track record advising international and domestic clients on large M&A and private equity transactions. In particular, the team is experienced in public M&A, acting for clients in the life sciences, consumer products, industrials, technology, defence and aerospace, and real estate sectors. Giles Elliott jointly leads the practice alongside Leon Ferera. Both are experienced in the full range of corporate transactions including public and private M&A, fundraisings, buyouts, joint ventures, and investments.
Other key lawyers:
Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II
Greystar Real Estate Partners
Scapa Group PLC
Roper Technologies, Inc.
The Stars Group Inc.
Signature Aviation plc
- Advising The Stars Group Inc. on its $14bn all-share merger with Flutter Entertainment plc, creating one of the world’s biggest online betting and gaming operators.
- Advised Signature Aviation plc on the sale of its Ontic business to an investment fund affiliated with CVC Capital Partners for $1.365bn .
- Advised Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets on the high-profile sale of its 100% interest in Condor Ferries – operator of lifeline freight and passenger ferry services between Guernsey, Jersey, the UK, and the Port of St. Malo – to ESIF and Brittany Ferries.
King & Spalding LLP 's compact but capable City transactional team has established itself as a key adviser to large blue-chip corporates on cross-border public and private M&A. Its London practice is best known in the energy and financial institutions sectors and is complemented by a strong private equity team. William Charnley leads the department and has a particular specialism advising financial institutions. Martin Hunt is a key name on the energy side and is dual qualified in New York, Texas and England and Wales. Partner Ilan Kotkis left for Seddons in summer 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Martin Hunt; Marcus A Young; Derek Meilman
Utmost Group of Companies
Active Healthcare Solutions Ltd
Sierra Oil & Gas
Life Company Consolidation Group (“LCCG”)
Eddie Stobart Logistics plc
Micrometrics Instrument Corporation
- Represented Baker Hughes on its agreement to acquire 5% of the shares in ADNOC Drilling for an initial consideration of $550 million.
- Acted for Life Company Consolidation Group (“LCCG”) on its agreement to acquire the entire business of The Equitable Life Assurance Society (“Equitable Life”), the world’s oldest mutual insurer, in a transaction that will bring an end to the 256 year old entity.
Mayer Brown International LLP's M&A team is known for its work across a broad range of sectors including media and entertainment, consumer goods, mining, insurance, private equity, real estate and energy. Cross-border mandates are common, with the practice having undertaken transactions in Canada, the US, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and Europe. Kate Ball-Dodd leads the London corporate practice and has a broad practice covering both public and private M&A, while Perry Yam heads up the global corporate practice. Robert Hamill is a name to note in the energy and mining sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘A very capable team – pragmatic and solution driven’
A can-do approach combined with solid partners and depth and quality in associates.‘
‘Robert Hamill is very calm and steady under pressure. He has a unique ability to manage tricky points in a very pleasant manner. Always commercially minded and has the big picture in mind.‘
Eland Oil and Gas
Entertainment One Limited
Shearwater Group Plc
Sumitomo Metal Mining Limited
Universal Coal plc
- Advised Entertainment One (eOne) on its sale to the major toy maker Hasbro, Inc, in an all-cash transaction for approximately $4bn (£3.3 billion).
- Advised Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (acting in a consortium with its partner, Sumitomo Corporation) on the acquisition of a 30% indirect interest in Compañia Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca S.A., which owns the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project, from Teck Resources Limited for $1.2bn.
- Advised Eland Oil & Gas PLC on its sale to Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, the West African oil operator.
Milbank's London team has a reputation for advising on high end transactions in the energy sector. This practice received a boost with the hire of Lisa O’Neill from McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP in early 2020. O'Neill previously advised Praxair on the $5bn divestment of the majority of its European business to Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation. The firm also has a niche in Greek work and has advised several banks there on disposals and acquisitions. Mark Stamp and Stuart Harray jointly lead the practice
Other key lawyers:
‘Very knowledgeable, good depth of practice and flexible enough to adapt to any situation, as well as being very helpful and friendly’
KKCG / Sazka Group
Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking
SOM Committee of Abengoa
National Bank of Greece
NE Renewables LLC
Arcmont Asset Management
Yellow Cake Plc
- Sole M&A adviser to BlackRock and KKR on their landmark partnership with ADNOC in connection with a $4bn midstream pipeline infrastructure agreement.
- Advised Piraeus Bank on the carve-out and sale of a majority stake in its non-performing exposures servicing unit to Intrum.
Morrison & Foerster LLP is best known for undertaking transactions in the tech and premium venture capital space. Cross-border work continues to make up a significant portion of the deals undertaken by the team. Andrew Boyd has particular expertise advising clients in the technology sector, where he works on M&A and minority equity investments and complex carve outs. Gary Brown, Amit Kataria and Dan Coppel are other key names to note in the practice.
SoftBank Group Corp.
Tate & Lyle PLC
Vonage Holdings Corp.
Sonora Mills Foods Inc.
- Advised Visa Inc in connection with its acquisition of a minority equity stake in Interswitch Limited, a leading Africa-focused integrated electronic payments and e-commerce company.
- Acted as lead adviser to Hassad Food in its acquisition of a significant minority equity stake in Sunrise Foods International, the world’s largest supplier of organic grains and oilseeds.
- Represented EuroHold Bulgaria AD (EuroHold Bulgaria) in its €355 million acquisition of the Bulgarian power distribution/renewable energy business of Czech utility company ČEZ.
Proskauer Rose LLP's London M&A practice represents clients on both mid-market and high-end deals and has strong sector expertise in financial services mandates, including fintech payment processing. Other key areas are TMT, business services, and industrials. Steven Davis leads the global practice and has more than 30 years' experience as a transactional lawyer. His work spans the full range of the private equity market, including leveraged buyouts, and management buyouts.
Other key lawyers:
‘They have access to people extremely well versed in PE based and debt fund deals and thinking through the implications and ramifications.‘
‘Andrew Wingfield is the go-to lawyer for our M&A transactions.‘
AnaCap Financial Partners LLP
Ascot Lloyd / Oaktree Capital
Motive Capital Partners
- Represented AnaCap Financial Partners (“AnaCap”), a leading European financial services specialist investor and other stakeholders on the sale of the German FinTech business, the Heidelpay group, to KKR.
- AnaCap Financial Partners in the sale of Ellisphere to Andera Partners and Tikehau Capital.
- Advised on the acquisition by Oaktree’s portfolio company, Ascot Lloyd, of 100% of the share capital of Newell Palmer – an independent financial advice business.
Vinson & Elkins RLLP acts for a broad range of private equity and corporate clients with a particular focus on the infrastructure and energy sectors. Distressed asset acquisitions and investments in Europe continue to be a key area for the practice and these transactions span a variety of sectors, including consumer retail, manufacturing, building services, financial services and assets, care homes/assisted living and shipping. Jeffrey Eldredge co-leads the corporate department, representing private equity sponsors engaged in cross-border infrastructure mergers and acquisitions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Africa Oil Corp.
Apollo Global Management
Energy Growth Momentum
Groupe Bruxelles Lambert
Helios Investment Partners
Kingsley Capital Partners LLP
Peninsula Capital Advisors
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures
Sixth Street Partners
- Lead counsel to KKR on its auction sale of European Locomotive Leasing, a pan-European provider of electric locomotive leasing solutions, to a consortium formed by AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets and Crédit Agricole Assurances.
- Advised Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, on its acquisition of a majority stake in Webhelp, one of the world’s leading call centre operators headquartered in Paris, from KKR.
- Advised Africa Oil Corp. in connection with a $1.53bn acquisition by one of its subsidiaries of 50% of the share capital of POGBV, an entity owning oil and gas interests in Nigeria.